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How much value should be placed on employees’ happiness and what impact does this really have on business success and profitability? Wendy Dean of Strategi Solutions Group explores the real drivers for engagement and how to foster them.
Just over 10 years ago when I was working as an HR director, if I had asked our senior team how much concern we should be giving to the happiness of our staff, I would have probably been laughed out of the boardroom.
This was in no way a reflection of that particular company, but instead of the thinking and current attitudes of the time.
But then in 2008 when the recession hit, mindsets had to change as employers were forced to rethink their people strategies and to refocus on ways in which they could actually retain and nurture the best of their talent.
The current wellbeing movement has progressed this way of thinking even further, with employees now expecting there to be an emphasis on their happiness and satisfaction in the workplace. But have employers caught up?
I would argue that while we are moving in the right direction, we aren’t quite there yet.
It almost seems too obvious a point to make, that happy more contented staff will surely make for a more motivated and productive workforce.
Businesses really do need to recognise just how important the happiness of their staff is and how it will and can positively affect their bottom line.
New work ethic
Like many managers from the baby boomer generation, I have had a work ethic ingrained in me that we come to work, to work hard and to earn a living.
In setting up my new business, I have had to challenge myself to think differently about the type of environment that I wanted to create and in doing so I have gone against some of my natural beliefs.
Today, the happiness of my staff is still one of my main priorities and influences every decision I make.
It may be a cliché and one that is championed by the entrepreneur Richard Branson, that “if you look after your staff, they’ll look af